[Mintwood-place] Soil Erosion Mitigation at Walter Pierce Park
koltwills at aol.com
koltwills at aol.com
Tue Jun 1 17:30:29 UTC 2010
Thanks for the information; this is important. What's your point? You write that Parks Service contractors are screwing over the site -- but your advice is for us to just play nice and let it happen?
I don't think so.
Whom do we contact to try to fix this? Points of contact? E-mail addys? Phone numbers?
From: maryjbelcher at comcast.net
To: mintwood place <mintwood-place at lists.mutualaid.org>
Sent: Mon, May 31, 2010 10:12 am
Subject: [Mintwood-place] Soil Erosion Mitigation at Walter Pierce Park
I wanted to clear up any neighborhood confusion about who is performing soil-erosion-mitigation work on the National Park Service hillside leading to Rock Creek, at the Calvert Street entrance to Walter C. Pierce Community Park.
This work, which is supposed to take three weeks, is being conducted by National Park Service contractors over the objections of the Walter Pierce Park Archaeology Team. We have been excluded from any role in the planning or monitoring of this project. We believe that exposed human remains and grave artifacts are being destroyed underfoot by a vigorous but ignorant work crew.
The Walter Pierce Archaeology Project has, for the past five years, been involved in identifying and protecting any graves that remain from two historic cemeteries at the site: the Colored Union Benevolent Association cemetery where at least 8,248 people were buried between 1870 and 1890, and a smaller adjacent Quaker cemetery, in use from 1807 to 1890. We now know the names of the 8,248 people we have verified were buried at the site. A team led by Howard University biological anthropologist Mark Mack--a leading expert on African American cemeteries--is completing city-funded ground-penetrating radar at the site.
The 7-acre historic cemetery boundaries include all of the city-owned Walter C. Pierce Community Park, a little bit of the National Zoo, and the National Park Service hillside leading down to Rock Creek.
We made repeated attempts to convince the National Park Service to consult with the Walter Pierce Park Archaeology Team before this soil-erosion project began last week, and we have continued to ask that the work be stopped immediately so that a plan for the respectful treatment of this hillside can be put in place. Our Adams Morgan ANC-1-C and the Kalorama Citizens Association passed formal resolutions calling for our involvement. Our Ward 1 City Councilmember Jim Graham has asked the National Park Service/Rock Creek Park for us to be involved. But all our requests were rejected by the National Park Service/Rock Creek Park with no satisfactory explanation, other than that the landscaping work would be monitored by a contract archaeologist.
I would ask all my neighbors not to enter the fenced-off work site, or to behave badly toward the workers or the fence in any way. We need to set the example that this is a hillside that needs to be treated with enormous respect and honor, even if National Park Service officials have decided to do otherwise.
Mary Belcher, community liaison to the Walter Pierce Park Archaeology Project
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